Knitted Skirts for Fall

One of my favourite things to knit is a skirt. So easy: just knit a tube. Voilà. With Fall approaching, I thought I’d share with you the skirts I’ve knit, in case you’re looking for a little Fall-y skirt-y inspiration.

Many women worry about wearing knit skirts…will they stretch and sag? In my experience, no. But I have only ever made skirts with Cascade 220 yarn. I find it is such a great workhorse of a yarn. It’s plied (4 ply) which gives it a solid structure and helps prevents pilling and stretching. I would never knit a skirt with, say, alpaca, or silk, or some other fiber that would stretch a lot. And all of these skirts have an elastic waistband worked in one way or another which helps with fit…in most cases, it’s just a simple elastic string woven into the waistband.

Here is my version of the Seaport Skirt by Kristina McGowan. It looks fairly complex but really it is just a tube with cables done every few rows. It’s knit with Cascade 220 in colour #2448 Mallard.

Seaport Skirt
Please ignore the fact that I look like I’m about to keel over drunk in this photo. I’m pretty sure I was just trying to appear relaxed but maybe overdid it by a factor of about 100.

Can we talk about the shoes for a moment? They’re Hush Puppies. You read that right: Hush Puppies. A couple of years ago HP decided to make a groovier line of shoes, I guess, and this is what they came up with. I get a little catch in my breath every time I see them, they are so frickin cute. Look at those little two-tone curlicue decorations on the toes, and the matching t-straps. But there’s more: THEY SMELL LIKE CINNAMON. Yes! The rubber soles are somehow imbued with the scent of cinnamon. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sign me UP for that. But alas, these shoes are not very comfortable on me…I can only wear them for maybe an hour at a time before my toes start to hurt. Which is why they spent the first 6 months of their lives with me up on my dresser, as art objects. C’mon, quit judging me. I know I’m not the only person who puts their shoes on display for daily admiration.

Ok, I just went to the Hush Puppy website to see if I could find a good close-up pic of these shoes for you, and holy shit, these are not your grandma’s Hush Puppies any more. Have a look at these, um, puppies in blue multi-colour snakeskin with bright yellow heels–squee! (Or actually maybe they are your grandma’s shoes; apparently these are part of their “1958 collection”. My grandmother would’ve been 53 then, but still might have rocked the snakeskin pumps.) Anyway, here’s my amateur photo of the shoes; couldn’t find one on their site.

Canela Shoes by Hush Puppies

Ok, back to the skirt! A-hem! I did not block this skirt after knitting it so you can see the hem is a bit wonky. But I decided at the time when I finished it that I actually liked the way the hem came out a bit ruffly…it seemed to go with the cable pattern. Looking back now, maybe I’ll go throw that thing in some water and get that hem straightened out. I wrote about the project on Ravelry here.

Seaport Skirt

Here’s my Chelsea skirt based on the pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and detailed on Ravelry here. I absolutely adore this one. I love the dark eggplant colour (Cascade 220 Heathers colour #4006 Galaxy) paired with green sock-weight yarn for the lace trim. And I think the addition of a variety of buttons down the side was a stroke of genius if I do say so myself! Perhaps other knitters agree as this is my most-favourited project on Ravelry.

herringboneskirt2

It’s worked in a herringbone stitch that I found slow-going…I hate having to count stitches and keep track of a pattern repeat forever. But I’m certainly proud of how this one came out and I wear it a lot.

herringboneskirt

Next is a lovely close-up shot of my ass (sorry, but it does show the skirt detail well) in my Bell Curve Skirt, based on the Bell Curve pattern by Kira Dulaney and detailed on Ravelry here. The pattern doesn’t include the ruffle at the bottom, but rather has a subtle flare all the way down into an A-line shape. I’m not too keen on A-lines so I took cues from a couple of other Ravelers who had added a ruffle, and, when I got to about 4 inches above the knee, I made an increase in every other stitch and continued knitting in seed stitch for a few more inches for the ruffle.

Bell Curve Skirt

Can we just talk for a moment about how the wind blew my hair at just the right moment in this next picture? Thanks, universe. Woot! I knit this skirt with, you guessed it, Cascade 220 yarn, color #9462. I made the necklace, too. It’s a blatant copy in another colourway of the necklace I’m wearing in the very first picture above, which I bought at a department store, and wore near constantly.

Bell Curve Skirt

Next is my Plum Heather Skirt, based on the pattern Olive Heather Skirt by Veronik Avery.  I think the direction of the lines on this skirt makes for a flattering fit. I knit it with Cascade 220 Heathers in colour #9441 and detailed it on Ravelry here.  Speaking of stretching and sagging, I knit the tank top I’m wearing with it with 100% silk yarn. It grew quite a lot after the first washing, as you may be able to tell from its lumpy/saggy appearance in this picture. Which is why everyone always says to wash your gauge swatch, blah blah blah. And they’re RIGHT. But I still don’t wash my gauge swatches. I’m all maverick-y like that (which I’m pretty sure wasn’t a word until Sarah Palin awkwardly coined it during her VP campaign…she’s a goldmine that way).

Plum Heather Skirt

You can also see in the pic above that the waistband is a little loose on this (that’s the waistband, not muffin top, I swear!). Later I added an elastic cord so I could draw the waist in a bit tighter.

Plum Heather Skirt

My advice for you if you’re going to try knitting skirts is: go for it! Choose a yarn with good structure that won’t stretch or sag. Check your gauge to see if the knitted fabric will be too see-through and adjust accordingly. Even if you wanted to wear a slip with your skirt I find it’s nearly impossible to even find slips these days…they’re like a relic from the 50s now. Choose a pattern that includes an elastic waistband or add one yourself by weaving in some elastic cord. Wool skirts are very forgiving and flattering and will never let you down with VPLs (visible panty lines) — unless you’re wearing underwear that’s 2 sizes too small in which case I can’t help you anyway. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Knitted Skirts for Fall

  1. Holy Moly! I thought the first blue one was my favorite but now I’m not sure. They are all beautiful! Here I thought I could only make hats and mittens…never would have thought of a skirt! I want one!

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    1. Thanks! I say definitely go for it…if you can make mittens, you can make anything! Skirts are about as hard as making a hat…just a lot more knitting. 🙂

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  2. I agree with you, it is so hard to find a slip now days. All of mine are at least 15 years old if not older. What do you do about a slip?

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    1. Hi Lisa. I don’t bother with a slip, actually. If I’m wearing tights it means I might have to adjust the skirt a bit when I stand up, so I suppose I *should* be wearing a slip if I really wanted to avoid that problem. Large department stores seem to still carry a few options for slips. I also have some slippery beige fabric in my stash that I might sew up myself. Hey! After writing that last sentence it has just dawned on my whey they’re called ‘slips’! D’oh!

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